Information on adding economic records


Government departments and agencies collect a range of information about all of us for administrative purposes, so they can plan and provide services. Added to the responses you have provided in this study the information can inform further analyses and help us get a better picture of those who are using services provided by the government.

What am I being asked to give permission for?

The Department for Work and Pensions keeps records of everybody’s benefit claims and any periods people spend on employment programmes. The Understanding Society study at the University of Essex would like to add these records to the responses you have given to this study. If you give your permission, it will inform further analysis to help us get a better picture of those who are claiming benefits and how they can best be helped.

What will happen if I give permission?

  1. The Understanding Society study will give the DWP your name, address, sex and date of birth.
  2. The DWP will use these details to identify the correct records it holds about you.
  3. The DWP will send your DWP records to the Understanding Society study.
  4. The DWP will not keep any of the personal information passed on to them.
  5. The Understanding Society study will add the DWP records to your study responses.
  6. Your personal information (name and address) will be removed before any research is done.

What will the research be used for and who will use it?

Like your study responses, the additional information would be used by professional academic and social policy researchers for non-commercial research and statistics. Any sensitive information would only be made available to them under restricted access arrangements which make sure that the information is used responsibly and safely. Names and addresses are never included in the results and no individual can be identified from the research.

The data will not be used to work out whether any individual is claiming benefits they should not be and will not affect any current or future claims for benefits

What if I change my mind?

You can withdraw permission at any time for your DWP records to be added to your study answers.

Who do I contact?

If you would like any further information or want to withdraw your permission, please contact us at: FREEPOST RRXX-KEKJ-JGKS, Understanding Society, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ. Freephone 0800 252853 Email: